Rats and mice are sneaky critters. There are two ways you're likely to detect them in your home. You may hear bumping and scraping noises in your walls; this is not common, but rodents sometimes make noises when traveling from attic spaces to kitchens and pantries. Another way you may notice rodents in your home is you might find droppings in your kitchen cabinets or drawers. Whether you hear rodents or find warning signs, you'll be left with the question of what to do about them. While there are many ways to get control of a rodent problem, there is no silver bullet. You can't just deploy traps or bait to solve a rodent control issue. You'll need to apply several methods. On the top of the list isn't traps or bait; it is exclusion work. What is exclusion work? We're glad you asked. Join us as we look at a method of rodent control called rodent exclusion. We'll discuss how to apply exclusions, and bait rodents to lure them out of your home. If you're having trouble with rodents in McAllen and have no time to read an article about all-natural rodent control, reach out to us for immediate assistance with rodent pest control in McAllen. We can solve your rodent problem for you and get rid of those critters. With that, let's get into today's topic.
What Is Rodent Exclusion?
Imagine you're having a party. Would you invite someone who knocks tables over, eats all your food, and makes everyone at your party uncomfortable? Of course you wouldn't. You would exclude that person from your gathering. When you apply rodent exclusion, you prevent rats and mice from getting into your home, damaging your stuff, getting into your food, and making everyone in your home uncomfortable. While it makes sense to do this, many McAllen residents invite rodents to the party because they don't understand why domestic rodents get into homes or how to keep them out.
There are several reasons why backyard rodents decide to leave your backyard and get into your home. The chief reason is that they see a hole or gap and squeeze into it. Here are a few common entry points common rodents use to get into McAllen homes.
- A rodent might see a gap around a pipe, such as your water main, an outlet for an oil tank, or your sewage line.
- A rodent might notice a gap in a sill plate and squeeze up underneath. These plates are made of wood, so a rat or mouse might chew on the wood to make a tiny hole larger.
- A rodent might see a gap in a storm cellar door. These are notorious for allowing rats and mice inside. Look at the bottom where the doors touch. If you see a tiny gap, you can bet a rodent saw it.
- A rodent might find a gap around a basement window. Mice are tiny rodents and only need a hole the size of a dime to squeeze in. While rats are big rodents, a full-grown rat only needs a gap the width of a quarter, which is just under an inch.
- A rodent might squeeze past a door sweep or weather stripping if there is damage or a small starter gap. Rodents have strong teeth and can chew through rubber quickly.
You will need to seal gaps near the ground if you hope to exclude rodents. But what about openings higher up, such as an open exhaust vent, gable vent, or the slits on a louver? Don't neglect to seal those. Rats and mice are incredible climbers. They can scale brick walls like Spiderman. All a rodent needs are pores or bumps to grip with their claws. They also use exterior utility conduits that run up the sides of homes. If you have a pipe or wire conduit on the side of your home, you need to block this route. Let's look at how you can do this and also explore a few other exclusion techniques.
Rodent Exclusion Techniques
Now that you know some of the ways rodents may get into your home, it is time to talk about the tools and methods that work to keep them out. What are the tools you'll need for exclusion work? When you find a hole or gap, you'll need to patch it with copper mesh, aluminum window screen, hardware cloth, silicone caulk, expanding foam, metal flashing, or some other material. Here are a few ways you can apply each.
- Copper mesh is great for blocking a hole. You can stuff it into a foundation crack or a gap around a pipe. You can stuff it into the downspout on your gutter system to keep rodents from accessing your roof. No matter where you stuff this material, make sure it is in there good. Rodents can chew and pull out copper mesh patches or push them into gaps to get inside.
- An aluminum window screen has more uses than protecting your windows and doors. You can put this material over large openings for a temporary patch. We recommend aluminum because it is more difficult for rodents to chew through.
- Hardware cloth material is strong. You can apply this material for a permanent fix, such as behind your louvers. If a rat or mouse scales your wall and climbs into your louver, that is as far as they'll go.
- It might sound strange to use silicone caulk to keep rodents out, but it works quite well. While a rat or mouse can chew through caulking, it may not think to do so. Rodents typically get into homes through holes that already exist. They don't start from scratch as a general rule. Caulking is likely all you'll need when filling wood holes or sealing gaps around pipes, windows, and doors.
- Expanding foam is another material rodents can chew through, but they're not likely to try. You can get a lot done with a can of spray foam. It is a product that is particularly good for filling in voids. If you put your hand near the bottom of a foundation sill and feel your air conditioning coming out, use expanding foam to fill in the void and keep rodents from climbing up inside.
- Metal flashing is the material you'll use when rodents keep chewing through wood or some other building material. It isn't the first option in most cases. Use it to cover a sill plate with gnaw marks or a started hole made by rodents.
It is hard work to seal entry points, but the patches you create will provide long-lasting protection from rodents. If you don't mind the work and you have the skill set, we highly recommend tackling exclusion work. If you need someone to do it for you, keep in the front of your mind that many pest control providers don't offer exclusion work. Be sure to ask. If you're in McAllen, contact Bugworks Termite & Pest Control. Don't let the name fool you. We provide effective rodent control on top of bug and termite control, and our technicians aren't afraid of a little hard work. Give us a call if you need assistance.
How To Bait Rodents Out Of Your Walls
Exclusion work on its own will not stop a rodent infestation. In fact, it is possible to trap rodents in your home when you seal the openings. You need to draw the rodents out of your walls. The Bugworks Termite & Pest Control technicians use exterior bait stations to do this. We also apply traps on the interior if needed. Rodent control is a process. There is no simple fix. We typically come out four times to check for activity as we apply our multi-pronged strategy to get rid of rodents and alter our strategy as needed to ensure no rodents remain indoors.
Humane Rodent Infestation Treatments In McAllen
When you need humane rodent control in McAllen, you can trust Bugworks Termite & Pest Control. We apply science to address rodent problems, which means we work to counter the natural behavior patterns of rodents and exclude them from your home. As you consider who to contact for rodent control, remember that each pest control company is somewhat different in its approach. Many don't do exclusion work at all, and it is rare to find a company that addresses large openings or offers home repairs. Our team addresses small exclusions with wire mesh and foam. We don't do home repairs. We also don't tackle the role of a contractor and patch rooflines or the damage around roof penetrations. When you contact Bugworks Termite & Pest Control, you'll get systematic rodent control in your home, deployment of tamper-resistant bait stations around your home, minor exclusion work, where needed, necessary follow-up visits, and recommendations for where a contractor can help fix critical issues. If that sounds like a plan, reach out to us. We look forward to helping you find the best solution to address your rodent control problem.
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